TIRUPATI: Less than a month before crucial Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, former minister and YSR Congress Party leader YS Vivekananda Reddy was allegedly murdered at his native Pulivendula village in Kadapa district late on Thursday night. The deceased is the uncle of YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
The death sparked a major political row with Jagan accusing Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh of being behind the killing and Naidu denying any role in the incident. Viveka was expected to get an YSRC ticket for Pulivendula assembly segment.
TDP Kadapa MP candidate and state minister Ch Adinarayana Reddy accused Jaganmohan Reddy of trying to politicise the death of his uncle Vivekananda Reddy regardless of the prevailing mood in their family.
Preliminary investigation by the police revealed that Vivekananda was murdered late on Thursday night. Post mortem examination showed seven injuries on his body caused by a sharp weapon. He was 69.
The AP government formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the murder case. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who spoke to senior police officials on Friday, ordered the SIT.
Forensic evidence destroyed by family members: Naidu
Naidu condoled the death of Vivekananda and conveyed his sympathies to the members of the bereaved family. Naidu said those involved in the incident will be booked, however, big they are. At a press conference, Naidu rejected the demand for a CBI probe by the YSR Congress. He alleged that the forensic evidence was destroyed by the family members of Vivekananda Reddy.
Additional director-general (CID) Amit Garg, who is heading the SIT, told media that the investigation is on and the SIT visited the crime scene. “We will come to a preliminary conclusion by Saturday,” he added.
Addtional forces were deployed in Pulivendula as a precautionary measure. Anantapur DIG Kanthi Rama Tata and Kurnool range DIG D Nagendra Kumar have rushed to Pulivendula. Police took up investigation after Vivekananda’s family members suspected foul play. It was initially believed that he died of massive cardiac arrest. The body was found lying in a poll of blood in the bathroom of his house. There were injures on the forehead, back of the head, thighs and wrists. The police pressed a dog squad to identify the culprit. Incidentally, Vivekananda’s father YS Raja Reddy was murdered before 1999 polls.
Vivekananda’s personal assistant MV Krishna Reddy lodged a complaint with Pulivendula police. The police first registered it as a case of unnatural death and shifted the body to local government hospital for post mortem. Meanwhile, YSR Congress demanded a high-level probe by the CBI into the death. YSRCP spokesperson Vasireddy Padma told media that the CBI should be given the case to investigate into the circumstances leading to the death.
Couple of days ago Vivekananda Reddy was spotted at Jagan’s Lotus Pond residence in Hyderabad. Even on Thursday, Vivekananda took part in an election campaign of the YSRC at Pulivendula. He was alone when the incident took place.
Vivekananda’s nephew and former MP, YS Avinash Reddy, also demanded a detailed investigation into the death. “He sustained two injuries in the head. Police should also probe conspiracy angle to establish the actual cause of death,” he said. Jaganmohan Reddy and other family members rushed to Pulivendula after hearing news of the sudden demise of his uncle.
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